The food, which chef Vineet Bhatia describes as global, with an Indian heart.
The dining experience at F Bar in Mumbai is as much about the visual flourishes as about taste.
F Lounge.Diner.Bar's Mumbai outpost is spread over two levels - that's about 10,000 sqft - at the India Bulls Centre at Lower Parel. Once you negotiate the charcoal black quilted doors, you step into an all-black lounge area with a bar spanning the length of one wall. The dining area is on the top level, reached via a staircase that glows acid green. Here, architect Sameep Padora's black wood ceiling with bent protrusions, black mirrors and comfortable chenille chairs set the mood.
In Mumbai, F Lounge.Diner.Bar is concentrating on the food. One reason is the city's 1.30am deadline; another is that Mumbai loves its food. And good food at that. Rajan Madhu, director of F-Bar Lounge Diner, told me that in Mumbai, people were more likely to pick dinner as a night out option. So F-Bar has brought on board Michelin star chef Vineet Bhatia to develop a 'fun, fashionable' menu.
Recently, we were given a taste of what to expect when F Lounge finally opens later this week. While the restaurant will serve continental favourites, there is a focus on Bhatia's stylish Indian food, served with a "fashionable twist" here.
To start off with, we had the corn chili fingers with a bloody mary relish (basically, spiked ketchup), and very delish goat cheese cigars served in shot glasses. A superb tandoori pesto cottage cheese stuffed with a spicy, crunchy paste and an aloo chat martini - a mix of circular, crisp potato chips drenched with yogurt and that sweet bhel chutney - followed. The smoked paneer lasooni tikkas didn't pack a punch though.
Mains included a methi saag aloo, which comes topped with crisp, crunchy garlic - served with hot naan, and an interesting marinated cottage cheese with asparagus, cooked en papillote.
For dessert we tried the mango rasmalai sitting in blue curacao rabdi and a blissful Coffee walnut sooji halwa with Oreo cookie ice cream.
The dining experience at F Lounge.Diner.Bar. in Mumbai is as much about the visual flourishes as about taste; the coffee halwa was served in a statement-making cup in the shape of a camera lens (Bhatia calls it his photo finish); the pesto paneer steams and smokes once the cloche is removed; and the marinated cottege cheese, served with a great cream and pepper sauce, is unwrapped before you with a flourish.
As expected, the food is good, as is the ambience.
F Lounge.Diner.Bar. is at One India Bulls Centre, 3rd Floor, Senapati Bapat Marg, Elphinstone Road. Tel: 022 66505820.
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